Addressing a packed house at the University of Colorado Denver’s Lawrence Street Center on Feb. 18, Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer was the featured speaker for the Robert Reynolds Distinguished Lecture. The event was hosted by the Business School, the Institute for International Business (IIB) and the Center for International Business Education and Research.
Doer was welcomed by Business School Executive Associate Dean Jean-Claude Bosch, PhD, and introduced by IIB Director Manual Serapio, PhD. Serapio announced that the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and Institute for International Business, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is the only CIBER among 30 across the U.S. to focus on Canada for the next four years. “As part of this work, we’ll be developing exchanges with Canadian universities,” he said.
Focusing on U.S.-Canadian mutual interests, Ambassador Doer discussed issues ranging from security and energy to health care and tourism. “We are your biggest customer,” he said. “We are your biggest tourist group.” On the flipside, “the U.S. gets most of its oil from Canada, not from the Middle East.”
Doer pointed out some significant and direct Canadian-based business ties to Colorado – Suncor Energy, EnCana, and Great West Life.
Related to global environmental issues, Doer emphasized “good environmental policy is good economic policy” and business interests have to be involved in these discussions. “It also is clear that China must be a part of the discussions.” However, he conceded that China doesn’t have to accept restrictions defined domestically in other countries.
On the healthcare challenges facing the U.S., Doer talked about the Canadian experience over the past 30 years explaining it was evident “we needed to deal with costs and access together.”
While the United States and Canada have many things to share and many ways to learn from each other, especially during difficult times, Doer reminded the crowd that the U.S. continues to be the most productive country in the world and a leader in new patents.